Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Untitled

Untitled

Ratings: (0)|Views: 33|Likes:
Published by outdash2

More info:

Published by: outdash2 on Mar 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/06/2013

pdf

text

original

 
29
 Yeshiva University • The Benjamin and Rose Berger Torah To-Go
®
Series • Nissan 5773
 Why Don’t WeRecite
Shehecheyanu
 on
Sefiras
ha-
Omer 
 
Rabbi Menachem Genack 
Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS • CEO, OU Kosher • Rabbi, Cong. Shomrei Emunah, Englewood, NJ'69YC, '73R 
 Editor’s note: This essay is adapted from a section of 
 An Exalted Evening,
edited by Rabbi Genack.
 We recite the blessing of 
Shehecheyanu
before performing most mitzvos that are applicable only at certain times during the year, thereby expressing our excitement and gratitude to God forallowing and helping us reach this moment.
Sefiras ha-omer 
stands out as an exception to thisrule in that we do not recite
Shehecheyanu
.
 Ba
al
 
ha
-
 Ma’or 
offers an explanation for this omission.Based on the Gemara’s recording of Ameimar’s custom:
 Ameimar counted the days but not the weeks. He said that [our counting] is a remembrance of the Temple.
 Menachos 66a
. 
.
 
 Regarding sefiras ha-omer, there are those who ask: Why don’t werecite Shehecheyanu? Furthermore, why don’t we omit the berachaon sefiras ha-omer on the second day of Pesach [out of concern that in the Diaspora we are still observing the first day of Pesach]? … Additionally, why don’t we [in the Diaspora] count two days, similar to our observance of a second day of Yom Tov? The principle that answers these questions is that we don’t need to be as stringent regarding sefiras ha-omer, which is only a remembrance. This is theconclusion of the Talmud—Ameimar counted the days but not theweeks. He said that [our counting] is a remembrance of the Temple. Although we count days and weeks, it is only out of tradition [andnot an integral part of the mitzvah], and therefore we can’t requirethe recitation of Shehecheyanu … Sefiras ha-omer is not something which provides any benefit. Rather it is solely for the purpose of evoking emotional sorrow for the destruction of our Temple.
Ba’al ha-Maor, Pesachim 28a
" ... " " ...
,.
 
 
30
 Yeshiva University • The Benjamin and Rose Berger Torah To-Go
®
Series • Nissan 5773
 According to
 Ba‘al
 
ha
-
 Ma’or 
 ,
sefiras ha-omer,
as it is performed today, is z
echer la-Mikdash
(aremembrance for the Temple),
 
 but only a general remembrance of the original practice in the
 Beis ha-Mikdash
 , whose purpose is to evoke emotion, not one that is meant to remind us of theactual past practice. Since
sefirah
is a general remembrance, it does not rise to the level of aperformance that requires a
Shehecheyanu
.The Rav suggested that there are two types of such remembrances, one that recalls the glory of the
 Beis ha-Mikdash
(such as taking the
lulav
for seven days, which reflects the ritual in theTemple when it was standing) and another that reminds us of its destruction (such as puttingashes on the head of a groom under the
chupah
). As
 Ba’al ha-Ma’or 
indicates,
sefiras ha-omer 
isnot of the first type, it is therefore meant to remind us of the destruction of the Temple. Tosafos write:
 After one recites the beracha on sefirah, one says, “may it be your will [that the Temple be speedily rebuilt],” which we don’t do for the blowing of shofar or shaking the lulav because nowadays[sefirah] is only a recitation for [the purpose of remembering]the Temple, but lulav and shofar involve an action.
Tosafos, Megillah 20b
 
" ' " 
.
 
,: 
The declaration that we make after
sefirah
is not made after shaking the
lulav
 , which after thefirst day is also
 zecher le-mikdash
. Tosafos differentiate between the two by saying that
sefirah
is
only 
a
 zecher le-mikdash
whereas
lulav
has a specific action associated with it. Both
lulav
and
sefirah
are remembrances, but they represent two kinds of 
 zecher le-mikdash
.
 Lulav
wasinstituted as a remembrance, but it represents the fulfillment, the
kiyum
 , of the mitzvah of 
lulav
. On the other hand, both the institution and fulfillment of 
sefirah
are
 zecher le-mikdash
 per se.That is why we do not recite
Shehecheyanu
 , which is an expression of joy. This may also serveas a source for the mourning nature of the
sefirah
period. It is not only a remembrance of thedeath of Rabbi Akiva’s students but an expression of the intrinsic nature of the contemporary mitzvah. According to this rationale, mourning should extend throughout the entire
sefirah
 period, which is in fact the opinion of the Ari (cited in
 P’ri Eitz Chaim
 ,
Sha’ar Sefiras ha-Omer 
 no. 7).Rambam (
Temidim
 
and Musafim
7:22), however, assumes that the mitzvah of 
sefiras ha-omer 
isstill biblically mandated today and does not differ in this sense from its status at the time of the
 Beit ha-Mikdash
. The Rav suggested that it is possible to explain the lack of 
She-hecheyanu
evenaccording to Rambam based on the understanding of the
Sefer ha-Chinuch
:
The root of the mitzvah, on a simple level, is that the foundation of the Jewish people is the Torah … The main purpose of the Jews being redeemed from Egypt was so that they would accept the Torah at Sinai and observe it … For this reason … we are commanded to count from the dayafter the beginning of Pesach until the day of the giving of the
, ... ... ...  , 
 
31
 Yeshiva University • The Benjamin and Rose Berger Torah To-Go
®
Series • Nissan 5773
Torah to show our great desire for this glorious day that wehave been anticipating … because counting shows a personthat his true longing and desire is to reach that day.
Sefer ha-Chinuch, Mitzvah 306
... . 
The
Chinuch
explains that the count expresses a sense of longing and anticipation for theultimate goal of accepting the Torah at Sinai, and therefore indicates that we have not yetreached the goal. This is antithetical to the nature of 
Shehecheyanu
 , which is recited to expressgratitude for having reached a particular goal.
Sefirah
 , on the contrary, demonstrates that wehave not yet reached the goal.This understanding may also explain why the Torah has us wait until after the first day of Pesach to begin counting
sefiras ha-omer 
. The
Chinuch
explains that the first day of Pesach
 
is singled out forthe specific purpose of remembering the miraculous Exodus, which in itself was a testament toGod’s dual role as Creator and Controller of history. Since
sefiras ha-omer 
is an expression of ournot having yet attained our intended goal, it is inappropriate to perform this mitzvah on the firstday of Pesach and mitigate our happiness and joy over the actual Exodus. It is also perhaps for thisreason that some people outside the Land of Israel follow the custom of reciting
sefirat ha-omer 
onthe second night only after completing the seder
 ,
so as not to mitigate the joy of the seder with ourfeelings of sadness for not yet having attained the ultimate goal of accepting the Torah.The Rav’s view concerning the recitation of 
Shehecheyanu
—that the mitzvah of 
sefiras ha-omer 
ischaracterized by longing and aspiration and reaches culmination only with the arrival of Shavuot—can be applied in other situations as well.
Shach
(Y.D. 28:5) asks why there is no
Shehecheyanu
when a man marries a woman. He does not resolve the question.Rabbi Shlomo Eiger,
Gilyon Maharsha
ad loc., answers that
kiddushin
(betrothal) itself is only a
hechsher 
 
mitzvah
(preparatory stage) necessary to fulfill the mitzvah of 
 p’ru
 
ur’vu
(procreation).This answer may suffice according to Rabbeinu Asher (
 Kesubos
1:12). However, according tothe Rambam (
 Ishus
3:23), who states that the
berachah
on
kiddushin
is a
berachah
on themitzvah, similar to any other
berachah
on a mitzvah, it is clear that
kiddushin
itself is themitzvah—so this answer will not suffice.
 Aruch ha-Shulchan
(OC 223:4) suggests a technical answer. He writes that one cannot recite
Shehecheyanu
at the time of the
kiddushin
because the process is not complete until the
nisuin
 (marriage). One cannot recite
Shehecheyanu
at the time of 
nisuin
because the other dimension of marriage takes place at the time of the
kiddushin
. According to the Rav’s approach, we could offer a different answer to the question of why there isno
Shehecheyanu
on marriage. The mitzvah of getting married (according to Rambam) does nottake place in a moment’s time, when the ring is placed on the wife’s finger. Rather it is a life-longprocess, a goal that is fulfilled only with the passage of time as the relationship and the family is built. It is a lifelong endeavor, where the goal is never totally achieved, as the relationship betweenhusband and wife is deepened and hopefully constantly enhanced. Therefore, as the goal is not athand at the time of the initial marriage,
Shehecheyanu
is not recited.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->